As we continue exploring the story of Balaam, a man who teetered between listening to the Lord and listening to the world around him, we consider how God uses people (and donkeys) like us.
I can’t believe it was 10 years ago today I started my position teaching at Lindenwood. I truly loved my time teaching in the classroom there; I always miss it this time of year. I’m thankful to still be in touch with many of you who were my students and colleagues — friends — those five years were a treasure! I’m excited for what’s next with Little Hills Church, which is still very much intertwined with that part of St. Charles, which God always seems to lead me back to in ministry.
I’m very concerned about so-called “religious exemptions” to the COVID vaccines. Quite frankly, no one has shown me a legitimate Scriptural basis. In this piece I tackle the subject and ask pastors to consider placing commitment to Biblical truth over what will appeal in the moment to some potential congregants:
While it is a minority of churches thus far, in some cases, it has taken the appearance of a “religious exemption mill.” Some churches promise anyone who attends access to such paperwork, despite having no preexisting teaching opposed to vaccines.
Cynically, I’ll confess some of this smells of an attempt at free publicity for churches, while other examples I’ve read seem more like pastors fearfully bending to avoid conflicting with members’ passionate political (not religious) beliefs. But, to cavalierly stamp “this is what we believe” on an issue for publicity or appeasement threatens all of us who advocate for genuine religious liberty.
Talking donkeys? Paid prophets? What’s going on here? Balaam and his donkey (Numbers 22) help us to think about facing temptations and living faithfully as we start a new series tonight. In the series, we’ll look at this man who teetered between listening to the Lord and listening to the world around him and see the ways we struggle with the same.
What do we do when the things we do that we thought were lasting get wiped away? As we turn to the fall of the kingdom of Judea this week, I reflect on that question.
It’s been hard to get my mind around the horribleness of what is happening in Afghanistan. Some thoughts:
Reeling from the horrors of 9/11 two decades ago, we entered Afghanistan to eliminate terrorist camps and also try to build a better nation for the people who had been caught under the Taliban’s control. Was it hubris or hope to think we could lastingly accomplish either goal? I’ll leave that discussion for another day, but this week has reminded us of how even our greatest powers stumble.
Despite the great sacrifice and heroism so many poured into this effort, despite the world’s strongest militaries throwing unfathomable sums of technology and money at the situation, despite most of the world preferring a Taliban-free globe, the Taliban now chat on Twitter as the reasserted leaders of Afghanistan.
What is our mission today as a church and as individuals? How does it affect what we do in our daily lives?
We all yearn for rescue from aspects of life… but is that just a fairytale hope? Melanie helps us consider where our help comes from as we turn to Ruth during this week’s 52 Verses, 52 Books, 52 Weeks.
None of this surprises me. It was predictable when both Presidents Trump and Biden said they intended to simply withdraw without a game plan to avoid this exact scenario. We’re playing out Saigon again, but with a force that will be unlikely to become a semi-friendly trading partner someday.
Nice to see St. Louis get recognized for the great place it really is. We have our problems, but STL really is a wonderful city and I love when someone actually takes notice.